DEER LODGE, Mont. -

The clemency hearing for convicted murderer Ron Smith got started early Wednesday morning in Deer Lodge.

Smith, a Canadian who was convicted for the 1982 murders of Browning residents Harvey Mad Man Jr. and Thomas Running Rabbit Jr., is asking that his death sentence be changed to life.

Smith?s attorney Gregory Jackson painted a picture of a man who changed his life from who he was when he committed the murders 29 years ago.

Jackson also stated that the debate today is not about the crimes themselves, but whether or not Smith deserves clemency based on his remorse and the model inmate he has been.

Ron Smith?s daughter, Carmen Blackburn, testified and told the board her father has been a supportive and caring father and grandfather. She asked they grant him clemency so he can live out the rest of his life in prison.

"I only hope everyone can look into their hearts and know the real facts about my dad, because I truly don't know what I would do without him in my life," Blackburn said.

Smith?s sister Rita Duncan spoke publicly for the first time on her brother?s behalf.

"He's done everything in his power to change himself and become the man he is today," Duncan said.

The state of Montana called 24 witnesses to testify at the hearing.

The niece of Thomas Running Rabbit said she never got to meet her uncle, but it pains her to watch her family suffer.

?I didn?t know if I even approved of the death penalty, but I can honestly say with all my heart I do now,? Shalee Russette said.

The hearing ended around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The victim?s family members said they hope once this is all over the family can finally move on.

?Their parents have all passed on, were never given justice, were never given closure and I hope this is what happens now,? both victims' uncle William Talks About said.

NBC Montana spoke with Jackson after the hearing and he said at the last minute the Canadian government pulled its support from Smith.

According to Jackson, Canadian consulate was supposed to testify during the hearing, but was prohibited. Jackson said it was devastating.

The parole board will have 30 days to make a recommendation to Governor Brian Schweitzer to grant or deny clemency.

Board chair Mike McKee announced the board plans to release its decision by the week of May 21.